Monday, October 28, 2013

Pitt Students Make a Difference in Sheraden

Collecting Surveys
Saturday October 26th was the University of Pittsburgh's 6th annual Pitt Make A Difference Day. The event links over 3,000 student volunteers with a day of service projects in over 70 communities across the city.

Sheraden was lucky to receive 48 volunteers arriving in the morning by school bus. The students were divided into smaller groups and led by Sheraden residents to areas of the neighborhood in need of litter cleanup. A group of 10 opted to lend a hand engaging residents and administering a survey to learn about their experiences and perceptions of the neighborhood. They performed well, knocking on nearly 100 doors and getting 20 surveys completed in about 2 hours.
Don't trash my turf!

After a sunny morning of collecting surveys and a huge heap of litter, the students were treated to pizza and refreshments provided by Councilperson Theresa Kail-Smith's office. The day's activities were organized by the Sheraden Community Council and the Sheraden Kiwanis Club.

Relaxing in front of Langley

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Selling Sheraden

When you speak with Sheraden residents about what they like about their neighborhood, a few themes are often repeated; quality single family homes that are affordable, the convenient location between downtown and the booming airport corridor, and access to the West Busway.

 The graphic to the left is text pulled directly from the remarks real estate agents have provided for 18 homes that are currently listed for sale in the eastern section of Sheraden. Words that occur more frequently are displayed in larger font. For example, agents are currently using words like "new," "home," "parking," "porch," and "updated" as part of their sales pitch more often than others. Noticeably missing are the reasons that residents have cited for why they continue to call Sheraden their community of choice. There appears to be key attributes of Sheraden that aren't being highlighted in current marketing efforts.

Despite this disconnect, there are signs that housing values are starting to recover and stabilize. Two completely renovated homes have just hit the market, both priced at $95,000. Both are four bedroom and boast over 2,000 square feet of living space. The price point seems to be right on target, as recent sales within a few blocks have ranged from $73,000 to $123,000.

Located on Stafford and Bergman, these formerly vacant foreclosed homes are part of the URA and PHDC's ongoing rehab work in Sheraden and present a great opportunity to become a new homeowner in one of the region's most convenient and affordable communities. Inquiries from interested buyers can be directed to Lisa Baldwin of Coldwell Banker. She can be reached by phone at 412-605-9857 or by email at

This Zephyr home sold last month for $123,000
This Stafford home sold a month ago was a steal at $73,000

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sheraden Data Collection Project Almost Complete

Sheraden Data Collection Focus Area (Highlighted)
PCRG is nearing the end of a major data collection and resident outreach project in Sheraden called Success Measures. Over the past couple months, important information about property conditions has been observed and recorded for over 1,000 parcels within the targeted area, shown to the left. This data will be compared with information collected a year ago and will help inform ongoing strategies to revitalize the neighborhood's housing stock.
Random Household Sampling for Survey

In addition, a resident experience and perception survey has been administered to over 100 households so far within the same target area. Households were selected at random to ensure that the results are statistically representative of the population. The survey has been engaging a diverse range of people, from longtime homeowners to families new to the neighborhood who are renting. Residents seem really anxious to provide feedback and participate in these revitalization efforts. A growing number of residents have even volunteered their time to help collect surveys from their neighbors.

The goal of the project is to survey a total of 264 households. The results will be analyzed to identify the strengths of the community and any opportunities that need to be pursued and improved upon.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sheraden Property Owners Making Improvements

Walking around recently in Sheraden, one would have noticed obvious signs of improvements being made to several homes by their owners. Roof work was being done to a home on Zephyr. Craig, the homeowner, said he bought the house and moved to the neighborhood about five years ago, citing several reasons for his decision. "The neighborhood is very affordable and I couldn't pass the price up. Sheraden is also a very convenient location, close to shopping and not even 10 minutes to town."

On Sheraden Blvd. across from Langley School, insulation was being installed in a well-kept brick house. The 1,300 square foot home built in 1929 will certainly see increased energy efficiency following the improvements, lowering utility costs while increasing property values. These two owner-initiated projects are reflective of the overall revitalization currently occurring in Sheraden.